Shortly after his team’s commanding victory in the MIAA B Conference championship game Friday at Loyola University’s Ridley Complex, Archbishop Curley boys lacrosse coach Chris Ogle stated that his program is in “a good place” right now.
It would certainly be tough for anyone to argue with his assessment as the Friars have won back-to-back league crowns, courtesy of a 15-9 decision over Park School. Sophomore attack Brandon Mejia, was the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“We’re in a good place,” Ogle said. “Our JV does a great job. Our coaches do a great job of preparing them, and they’re ready to step in and compete for jobs when they make it to varsity, so we’re in a good spot.”
Mejia, who watched last year’s title match from the stands at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium as a member of the junior varsity squad, erupted for four goals and three assists Friday for Curley (12-8 overall). Senior midfielder Trey Magnaye finished with three goals.
“(Mejia’s) just bought in and got better and better throughout the season. I was happy to see that,” said Ogle. “He does a lot of good things for us, especially inside. He can finish the ball really well, and he did that today.”
Mejia scored or assisted on at least one score in each quarter.
“I came out here like every other game,” Meija said. “Think of it like no pressure. I just played my game. Coach pointed out in practice that this is the only team that we have been down to, so they were going to use that for momentum, and I feel like we were able to take it back in a good way.”
Curley did just that, using an offense that was as varied as the Hawaiian shirts worn by the school’s student section as five different Friars scored to open up a 7-3 lead in the opening 12 minutes. One of Mejia’s first-quarter scores came as he stole a clearing pass from Park goalkeeper Riley Wilk (14 saves) and then shot into the unopposed goal as Wilk could not recover in time.
“Our goal was once we stepped on the gas, not to let off. Just keep pressing, pressing until we tired them out,” said Magnaye. “I think we did a good job of that in the first half.”
That seemed evident as Magnye and Liam Roesener increased the Curley lead to as much as six in a slower-paced second quarter that ended with the Friars holding a 9-4 lead following Park’s lone goal of the quarter by Gregory Mann with 4:50 remaining in the half.
The Friars ran off four unanswered third quarter goals to put the championship in their collective pockets. The Baltimore City private school out-shot Park by 18 in the quarter and won all the face-offs to keep possession for much of the 12 minutes. Liam Roesener (three goals, assist) produced two goals and an assist while Mejia chipped in a goal and an assist in the period.
Curley defeated Park (12-3), 16-9, less than two weeks ago.
“Curley’s a great team. We knew that coming in,” Bruins coach Josh Lauren said. “We really thought we could beat them. We came out and scored the first goal; things are looking good. We just got away from our game plan a little bit.
“We struggled in the clearing game. That’s kind of been our Achilles heel all season and it bit us in the (butt) tonight. It’s a shame because this is an incredible group of guys to coach . . . amazing senior class. They gave everything they had tonight. That’s all I can ask as a coach. I’m proud of them for that.”
The Friars were dominant in a perfect run (9-0) in MIAA B play this spring, winning their seven regular season matches by an average of 10 goals. Curley outscored playoff foes (Friends and Park), 33-13.
Curley is the first team to repeat as B champs since John Carroll did a 3-peat, covering the 2015 through 2017 seasons. The Friars have won 16 straight league decisions, including postseason, since losing to Friends in the 2021 title match.
“It means a lot to us as a program going back-to-back,” Magnye said. “We worked all year for it. Ever since last year, we said we’d be back again, and we came back again.”
It was the perfect ending for Magnaye, one of 11 seniors.
“It’s my last lacrosse game ever. Definitely a little sweeter than last year,” Magnaye said. “Last year, it was a little bit of revenge from my sophomore year when we lost, but this is a little bit sweeter. It touches more home to me.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
at Ridley Athletic Complex/Loyola University
ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 15, PARK 9
Park 3 1 0 5 - 9
Curley 7 2 4 2 - 15
GOALS: Park - Gregory Mann 5, Noah Heller 2, Skyler Redmond-Hoel 2; Curley - Brandon Mejia 4, Trey Magnaye 3, Liam Roesener 3, Jack Wojciechowski, Cooper Granados, Carson Giannelli, Gavin Albright, Dominic Broadwater
ASSISTS: Park - Gregory Mann, Max Baran; Curley - Brandon Mejia 3, Carson Giannelli 2, Liam Roesener, Colin Bieshl, Dominic Broadwater
SAVES: Park - Riley Wilk 14; Curley - Hunter Burton 3, Mason Lingenfelder 0